Israel lobby-created anti-Iran astroturf group employs Gene Sharp methods
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
June 22, 2012
In an article entitled “Israel Lobby Creates Anti-Iran Astroturf Group,” Richard Silverstein describes the “double life” of Iran180:
On the one hand it attempts to be a serious human rights organization. But it has a Jekyll/Hyde identity as a rough-and-tumble agitprop street theater group featuring giant puppets acting the part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and various other Middle Eastern tyrants like Bashar Assad and Muammar Gadhafi.
None of this would be out of bounds… until you examine the product of Iran180′s street theater. In 2011, it hosted a float at San Francisco’s Gay Pride parade in which Ahmadinejad was sodomized by a nuclear missile. During the same event, Ahmadinejad fellated said missile. Last year, during UN demonstrations coinciding with the Iranian leader’s UN General Assembly speech, the group featured a gay Jewish wedding between Ahmadinejad and Assad in which they stood under a chuppah and broke a wedding glass. In another scene, the lovebirds take a drive in a horse-drawn carriage and one strokes the naked belly of the other.
If Iran180′s “street theater” sounds like something out of Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action (.pdf), it may not be a coincidence that its single staff member, Chris DeVito, holds a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. The chairman of the Fletcher School is Peter Ackerman, a student of Sharp’s nonviolent warfare who funded his regime-changing work for two decades. Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, has been plotting regime change in Iran and Syria at least since 2005. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled “Say You Want a Revolution,” Ackerman and Michael Ledeen wrote:
Freedom-loving people know what we want to see in Beirut, Damascus and Tehran: the central square bursting with citizens demanding an end to tyranny, massive strikes shutting down the national economy, the disintegration of security forces charged with maintaining order, and the consequent departure of the tyrants and the beginnings of a popularly elected government.